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'Turf wars' lead to 7 killed, 7 wounded on East Rand


Suspected clashes between rival gangs involved in collecting trash at the Rietfontein dumpsite and a drug turf war in KwaThema have led to the murder of seven people.

Seven other people were admitted to hospital with gunshot wounds.

Gauteng provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela has appointed a multidisciplinary task team to work around the clock to find the shooters.

The incidents took place in Springs, Tsakane and KwaThema.

Police spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said two of the bodies were found with gunshot wounds at the dump site in Springs on the morning of Friday April 5.

Late Friday afternoon, the bodies of two other men aged 27 and 30 were found in Tsakane, where two other people were also injured during an attack by a group of about eight people who were shooting at people randomly.

One vehicle was also damaged in the process.

It is suspected that the group, armed with handguns, were travelling in two vehicles.

"Although the motive for the shooting and killing by a group of people is still being investigated, police are looking at the possibility that some of the killings may be related to rival gangs involved in collecting trash at the Rietfontein landfill (dumpsite)...," he said.

Eight other people were also attacked while they were sitting in a shack at an informal settlement in KwaThema. Three people aged between 26 and 41 died and five others were taken to hospital.

Dlamini said: "It is suspected that the motive for this attack was drug-related."

The provincial commissioner expressed confidence that the killers "will be brought to book very soon, as police are following positive leads on the killers".

"In condemning these killings, I am also appealing to the communities to isolate criminal gangs and work with the police," said the commissioner.

Cases of murder, attempted murder and malicious damage to property are being investigated.

Police are also appealing to people with information to contact their nearest police station or Crime Stop at 08600 10111.

"Any information will be treated anonymously and confidentially. A reward may also be offered for any information that may lead to the successful arrest of the killers and other people involved in serious and violent crimes."

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